Monday, November 29, 2010

Letters to Santa

Nathan has been veeeeeery worried that he's not going to sit on Santa's lap....for almost 4 weeks now.  I have to admit that when I look at the calendar I'm a bit concerned myself.  I've told him he should write his list and we'll mail it and he does but it doesn't take the worry out of his eyes.  Last year he was super sad when Santa didn't bring him the one thing he wanted.  (In Santa's defense, the one thing he wanted was a bike but we were in dire financial straits due to the economy and there was no way we could afford even a very cheap bike.)  Still, we underestimated how much it meant to him because we were both surprised on the way to Grandma's on Christmas Day to see Nathan with big alligator tears running down his cheeks.  When asked what was wrong he said very quietly, "I'm sorry I was a naughty boy, Mommy."  I was shocked and said, "Nathan you are NOT a naughty boy!  Why would you think that!"  He responded, "Because Santa didn't bring my bike."  So you see I would do just about anything this year to make sure that Christmas is very magical and not at all sad.  Which would mean a visit to Santa so he could make SURE there was no mistake this year! 

But...reality and wishes don't always coincide do they?  Between speech, school, Christmas parties, Christmas programs, etc. it doesn't look like there is a "built-in" Santa anywhere.  Our ward is not having a Christmas party so he won't be there.  He won't be at school.  He WILL be at the City Hall Saturday where Eva is performing but the line is 3-5 hours (yes I really said hours) long and we are going to a family gingerbread party so we can't stay that long.  We could possibly stop at a mall and try but I think that takes a very long time also and I can't even get to a mall until 6:30 PM or later and only on a few nights.  Wal-Mart usually has a Santa but I can't figure out when.  Grrrr.  What's a mom supposed to do? 

So I was very excited to see these "Official Santa mail" kits and to find that they are half off today, although given the circumstances I may have caved anyway:

I'm hoping they get here in time for Family Home Evening next week!  And REALLY hoping that it puts poor Nathan's mind at ease!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bathroom Makeover!!!

 The kids (mostly Eva) and I spent the last 24 hours redecorating our front bathroom--and I actually had a great time!  When our bathroom rugs died I realized that I have had them since I was first married almost 15 years ago--yes I am excited to get away for this anniversary!  I took the shower curtain down to wash it and it was obviously in an advanced state of deterioration as well.  I found a shower curtain I liked last week and picked up some rugs and curtain hangers Wednesday.  (We had a difficult time getting an accurate picture color of the shower curtain--It is mostly brown like the circle picture and some of the squares are the color of the wall--I have no idea why it wouldn't photograph the color correctly.)  Eva and I made a trip to DI Friday after school and found some things to help: 
We think this picture is pretty cool!  We found a piece of canvas (an old painting) $1.50 and an old placemat $1.00 made of some sticks tied together.  The placemat was multicolored: bright yellow, blue, and green.  We spray painted the canvas and mat brown, cut out some circles out of paper which we laid on the mat and then spray painted again.  When we lifted the paper we had the fun design.  It's not perfect: the edges bled some.  I should have thought of a way to get the paper to attach and then lift off the mat somehow.  Anyway, we hot glued the mat to the canvas and here it is!

 We really needed a shelf of some sort for the kids to keep their stuff in.  This bathroom is so small and we only have a VERY small cupboard so Eva and I spent a lot of time examining stuff at the DI.  We found this boat thing for $4.00.  The kids love that it has a paddle which we attached to the side.  The trim was green but we painted it the same color as the wall (now blue instead of yellow!) and then antiqued the edges.  We went back to DI this morning to look for some basket/containers to put things in and found a little wooden box and a little basket ($.50 each) which we spray painted and put hair stuff and toothpaste in.

Here's a picture that kind of gives you an overall view.  You can see the paddle, some of the shower curtain, and our new piece of "art" on the other wall.  At some point I am going to try framing the mirror.  This may take a while, as I am still learning to use tools.  For this redo, though, I DID use a drill, wood glue, and clamps (we had to repair the boat a bit).  When you consider the creating, repurposing, designing, and use of tools that plug into an outlet this whole experience "stretched" me. 

Vince helped Ethan make a towel holder last month that we'll put under the circle art.  It's stained a light color but now Ethan wants to paint it.  I'm trying to stay neutral on the issue but I would really like it painted...I'm pretty sure Vince will want it to be stained...  For Christmas I am going to look for some chocolate colored bath towels.  I'm going to get a ribbon in their favorite color and sew it along the border.  Then they will all have a towel that matches the bathroom, yet is obviously their very own. 

The biggest part of  this makeover was the removal of the "teenage girl" stuff.  All the make-up, hair bows, products, ............  You know.  I got a full length mirror to hang on a stud in the "someday" bathroom downstairs, found an old nightstand/endtable at DI for $8.00 and moved her down there.  She has an outlet that Vince installed a few years ago when we did the wiring and there is a light.  AND a door to hang her over the door shoe hanger that she keeps "stuff" in.  It really is full.  The whole shoe hanger.  Every.  Pocket.  Everybody's excited about this--definitely a win-win.  At first the other kids expressed jealousy: "Why does SHE get to have that space?!!"  But I pointed out to them that they would no longer have to wait for her to get out of the bathroom when they needed to "go" and that, as they say, was that.

Eva and I also found two old yucky brass light fixtures for $5.00 each.  We washed them, took them apart and spray painted them.  One is a three light strip with nice glass shades for the bathroom and the other is a chandelier.  I want to find some cheap shades for the chandelier and I'm pretty sure we will hang it over the  kitchen table.  Right now they are on my bedroom floor.  The chandelier came with some nice glass shades but I accidentally broke one when we were "frosting" the glass so now I'm one short.  I think it works out to put fabric shades on them eventually anyway because I like that look much better!  I'm very excited because I've heard of people painting light fixtures but never thought it could be something I could do.  I saw another light fixture today that I think would be perfect to put over the stairs, but I decided to wait.  Vince seems skeptical about the first two.  He says they look nice (we hurried to paint them before he got home last night) but he's not excited about wiring them.  I've decided to wait two weeks and then I'm going to wire them.   

Then I'll post pictures!